A Simple Fix for Dementia Care? Automation Is The Answer
It is estimated that nearly one million families affected by dementia in the UK are struggling with some aspect of caring for their loved ones.
Sadly, as is the case with most elements of the healthcare system, funding is often a major issue, with there simply not being enough resources to offer carers the support and help they so desperately need.
If you are a carer experiencing difficulty, and need a solution sooner rather than later, luckily there are several automation tools and services available that can help you.
If you look around the world, there are clear signs that services which focus on how to keep people independent and connected for longer can reduce the demand for social care. Fortunately, there are several different types of devices available that can act as reminders or prompts for everyday essential tasks such as taking medication, drinking water, and turning off the lights.
Motion Detecting Devices
Sensor or pressure mats offer a great way to keep someone with dementia safe in their own home and can be set to play a pre-recorded voice when there is movement. For example, you could place one of these by the kitchen door, acting as a reminder to turn off the gas after cooking.
Many dementia patients will often forget to drink water throughout the day, resulting in dehydration, a problem which can in turn lead to further health complications.
Luckily, carers can give themselves a little more peace of mind with reminder services such as the Droplet Hydration Reminder, another VAT free product, which in trials increased water intake in its users by up to 60% through its use of both audio and visual reminders.
Devices That Can Be Remotely Accessed
If you want to enjoy more peace of mind when you are away from the person you care for, devices such as tablets and smart phones can be used to offer remote support.
Automatic Calendar Clocks
As dementia progresses, time can become more confusing for patients, and you may find that the person you care for cannot differentiate effectively between night and day. Automatic calendar clocks show the date, day of the week, time, and in some cases, whether it is morning or evening.
There are also talking clocks and calendar apps which can be downloaded to a person’s smart phone and customised with ease.
Smart devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant allow the owner to give voice commands or ask questions, which the device will then carry out or answer. With the ability to help dementia sufferers with the answers to questions such as what day it is and where they live, to carrying out more complex tasks such as controlling the central heating in the home, virtual assistants can also play music, audiobooks and recall historical facts, lessening the responsibility for carers.
As well as being useful for dementia patients themselves, these devices can also prove invaluable to carers, allowing them to get answers to simple medical questions from the NHS, connect with their patients remotely and automate time-consuming tasks such as ordering food shopping.
Becoming increasingly mainstream, robotic technologies such as small robotic pets and automatic vacuum cleaners use artificial intelligence, allowing them to become more useful to the owner over time. Although these devices can be expensive and may be too complicated for late-stage dementia patients, they do have the ability help people remain independent for longer and even offer companionship for patients who live alone.
In the words of Alzheimer’s Society, “while dementia isn’t curable yet, the care system is”. Here at TabTime, we are committed to supporting both dementia patients and their carers and are constantly innovating our range of medication management products to suit the evolving needs of our customers.
If you have a question about medication management or would like further information about any of our products, please get in touch here today.
If you’d like to do more for the struggling dementia care system, you can also join the TabTime team in showing your support for easier access to dementia care for all by signing the petition from Alzheimer’s Society to #CureTheCareSystem.